Lightning to HDMI cable question

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by thealpha1, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. thealpha1, Nov 9, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014

    thealpha1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I am wanting to use my TV for my monitor, so I need to buy a lightning to HDMI cable - is there any good reason I should spend the premium price on an official Apple product when I could go and buy one for under $10 on eBay? do I buy an adapter or the cable. Is there any difference really? I guess a cable would be more convenient for me.

    Also, is there any higher quality accessories to get the best possible quality?

    Thanks guys!
     
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #2
    Be careful with the eBay ones they don't all push audio through. I have a Berlin cable from apple and it works great.
     
  3. thealpha1 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    #3
    I thought the audio comes through the headphone jack and not HDMI? sorry if that is a silly question :D
     
  4. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #4
    HDMI can send both audio and video. If you are connecting to a monitor then a video only hdmi is sufficient but if you are connecting to a TV or monitor that has built in speakers and supports audio over HDMI, you definitely want the cable that works for both audio and video.

    I have my Mac mini connected to the 55 inch in the family room using a good quality HDMI cable I got from Monoprice. The cable works for both audio and video. Every now and then I want to put something up for everyone to watch and it's nice to have the volume controlled by the TV remote.
     
  5. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Brunswick, MD
    #5
    Another vote for Monoprice.com here!

    I hate overpaying for "premium" cables that are just marketing hype. But with some of these video cables, there really are a lot of shoddily manufactured, non-certified "junk" versions out there online. The prices are low for a reason.

    Monoprice has specialized in selling good, functional cables at good prices as their main product for years, and IMO, you can't go wrong ordering from them.

    (By contrast, I ordered a couple of mini-displayport to displayport cables off Amazon a few months ago, because they were only $5 or so each. When they arrived, neither one worked properly. The second time I unplugged one from a monitor, the cable housing broke in half and a wire inside it came unsoldered. Worthless junk.)
     
  6. thealpha1 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    #6
    Thanks very much!

    I think the best thing for me to do is to save up and buy an Apple HDMI and Thunderbolt to HDMI cable - I want to experience the best quality. It is going to be a TV I am connecting it to (for now, in the process of saving for a monitor) - how would I go about disabling the speakers on the TV and using my external speakers? can this be done? or will they all work at the same time.. lol.

    My TV is a Samsung.

     
  7. isomorphic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #7
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that the Lightning-to-HDMI "cable" actually contains a rather advanced chipset, essentially offloading the HDMI video from the iOS device to a dedicated ARM processor. The iOS device sends some sort of compressed video stream (AirPlay?) to the ARM chip in the "cable", then the ARM chip decodes that and renders a framebuffer.

    For this reason, buying a third-party cable would be a fairly bad idea. Who knows where the third-party might have cut corners.

    If the HDMI cable was just a passive device that connected various electrical connectors, sure, buy it from Monoprice. But since it has custom chips in it I wouldn't stray from Apple.

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/13...-adapter-found-to-have-embedded-arm-processor

    ----------

    PS, if you're talking about Thunderbolt, that's entirely different from Lightning. I think you can probably get a passive Thunderbolt (DisplayPort) to HDMI adapter that will work fine.

    PPS, if you are talking about connecting an iOS device to a TV, consider the AppleTV instead.
     
  8. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #8
    Oops. I answered the OP's question thinking in terms of thunderbolt but he clearly mentioned lightning. All this cable naming is unfortunate in that there are two "new" cable standards: one called thunderbolt and one called lightning as if the guys that made movie "Cars" were suddenly in charge of marketing over at Apple and Intel. ;)

    So I guess I have to ask the OP to come back. Please clarify what device you are trying to connect. You mentioned a Samsung TV but I really need to know what is the Apple device you are trying to connect to the Samsung TV?
     
  9. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #9
    Rather counter-intuitively, the best video quality can often be obtained by using an old-fashioned VGA cable instead of the HDMI one. The reason is TVs often apply some filtering on HDMI, which only degrade video quality. YMMV, check your TV manual first.
     
  10. Ramiro210 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    #10
    +1 for Monoprice.

    I've purchased cables from them for close to 10 years now and only 1 cable (micro-usb to usb) has ever failed. I RMA'd it and they sent me a replacement no questions asked and I didn't even have to mail them back the bad one.

    Quality is top notch and while so is Apple, cables are these guys bread and butter. Plus you won't need to save up as much if you go with Monoprice.;)
     
  11. thealpha1 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    #11
    Hey guys. I ended up going with Belkin as I visited the Apple store today, I have the display all set up right now, but I am a little disappointed in the quality of the display. It's not true HD and you can see the pixels.

    Am I correct in thinking everyone has this issue? and that's why "4K' is available?

    Ben.
     
  12. Moonjumper macrumors 68000

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    Jun 20, 2009
    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    #12
    It probably is true HD, but 1080p is quite low resolution if your TV is bigger that 24". You haven't mentioned how big your TV is.
     
  13. thealpha1 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    #13
    Thnx for your reply!

    Oops. I'm not sure on the sizing but I think it maybe 42" I'm not sure lol.. here is a picture of the current setup:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Moonjumper macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    #14
    Yes, your TV is too low a resolution for that set-up. You've have the opposite of retina (low instead of high pixel density at the normal usage distance).

    You either need to sit further back (I've tried that with a 40" TV and it didn't feel right to me), get a 4K TV if you want a display that size, or get a monitor.
     
  15. thealpha1 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    #15
    Thnx! I'm saving for an external monitor, I'll use this for the time being though.
     

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